'I’m back at work, healthy with no issues': doctors upbeat after Covid-19 vaccinations

23 February 2021 - 19:44 By Nomahlubi Sonjica and Iavan Pijoos
The record card issued to health workers who had their Covid-19 vaccinations in the Western Cape. File photo.
The record card issued to health workers who had their Covid-19 vaccinations in the Western Cape. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

Two doctors who received their Covid-19 vaccinations say the benefits outweigh the side effects and are encouraging health workers and the public to get the jab.  

A doctor from the Northern Cape who asked not to be named told TimesLIVE that he received the vaccine on February 19.

“I decided to take the vaccine because as we can see now in the second wave with the new variant, a lot of young people are getting sick and some are dying of Covid-19. I just decided that prevention is a better cure and decided it will be good to boost my immunity and fight the virus,” he said.

The 28-year-old said initially he was a little nervous but his fears were unfounded.

“The process actually went very quickly and the registration was very well organised. I commend the Department of Health for the rollout and how they handled everything,” he said.

Some of the side effects he experienced were a pain in the left shoulder, where he got the injection, and he started feeling ill about 12 hours later.

“The most common side effects I got were a fever, chills and a bit of muscle pain which was quite severe and I had to take some Panados to get the fever down. It lasted throughout the night and the next day I was feeling a bit fatigued, but the side effects wore off about 24 hours after I got the vaccine.”

Tuesday marked four days since he had taken the vaccine and he had no discomfort.

“I think if enough people can boost their immunity it can really help the hospitals because our resources are a bit constrained. I would encourage people to take the vaccine if they can.”

Dr Sa’ad Lahri, a physician at the Khayelitsha district hospital, was vaccinated last  Wednesday.

“It was very exciting. I was very humbled and blessed to receive it. I had minor pain on my shoulder where they injected. Other than that, I did not experience any body aches.”

The discomfort lasted a day, he said. “I’m back at work, healthy with no issues.”

His advice to other health workers and the public was to have the vaccine.

“In order for us to beat Covid-19 we need to have an approach that is multipronged. The first approach is hand sanitising, using the mask and social distancing. The second approach is the vaccine and it will give us an armour against Covid-19.”

Prof Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist at Wits University who is working on Covid-19 clinical trials, said it took 14 days for the vaccine to kick in.